At New Job, No Mention of Abramoff

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, February 23, 2006

David Funderburk , a former Republican House member from North Carolina and Reagan-appointed ambassador to Romania, has joined the Perennial Strategy Group, a lobbying and consulting firm.

According to a statement from the firm, Funderburk will guide "foreign nations and businesses through their governmental and commercial pursuits in the United States."

Perennial Strategy noted that after leaving Congress -- he lost reelection after one term -- Funderburk "returned to academia and began working in government relations and consulting." But where, you might ask.

The news release doesn't say, but Funderburk was a lobbyist at Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds , where one of his colleagues was the now-notorious Jack Abramoff.

According to Preston Gates's lobby reports, they worked together for such clients as the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Magazine Publishers of America and Channel One Network.

Funderburk was traveling in Europe and could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Perennial Strategy is headed by former Southern Christian Leadership Conference executive director Lamell J. McMorris .

Changes on Tap at Beer Wholesalers

Changes have been brewing at the National Beer Wholesalers Association. The trade group, which has a relatively new president, Craig Purser , has recently signed Mike Johnson as vice president for federal affairs. Johnson was vice president of government affairs at the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America and earlier a lobbyist for the National Association of Home Builders.

Also at the trade group, Michelle Semones, who joined three years ago, moved up to vice president for public affairs; earlier she was press secretary to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee under then-Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.). Holly Lass was promoted from Washington representative to director of federal affairs. Lass earlier was manager of federal relations at Reliant Energy and was a member of Vice President Cheney's advance team.

Chemistry Council's Gain

J. William Ichord , who had been head of Unocal Corp.'s D.C. office before the company was acquired by Chevron last summer, was welcomed this week at the American Chemistry Council as managing director for global affairs.

While noting that he did not make the move over to Chevron, Ichord said that he was impressed by the chemical industry's efforts to compete globally.

Ichord will report to the senior vice president for advocacy, once council CEO Jack N. Gerard finds one, an important piece of Gerard's plan to bolster the council's advocacy operations. "Bill is my first hire, and he's indicative of the kind of people we want to attract," Gerard said.

Here and There

Moving about town . . . Lance Morgan stepped down as president of Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick to take on a new post there: chief communications strategist. He was succeeded by Pam Jenkins , who had been head of Powell Tate's health public affairs practice.

Edwin Chen , Los Angeles Times White House reporter, is leaving the newspaper to join the Natural Resources Defense Council next month as federal communications director, a new post.

David Crane , former senior vice president of the Washington Group and earlier a senior policy adviser to then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), has moved over to Global USA Inc. One of his clients is Horizon Lines, the largest U.S.-owned ocean carrier, which is involved in port and container security issues.

William Maroni , formerly at Powell Tate and earlier a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, and head of legislative affairs for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, has joined Widmeyer Communications as senior counsel/senior vice president.

Anna Gomez , former deputy chief of the International Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission, has signed on with Sprint Nextel as vice president for government affairs, telecom.

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